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Educational Foundation Makes Reading Personal
for First Grade Students

Courtesy of Lake County Schools

Lake County Reading and Telecom Pioneers

Hundreds of first grade students from three Lake County elementary schools were presented a book of their very own about their favorite subject — themselves!

The Telecom Pioneers, formerly known as Telephone Pioneers of America, with the Educational Foundation of Lake County, Inc., provided funds for the production of more than 500 books and the purchase of 1,000 teddy bears for first grade students at Pine Ridge, Seminole Springs and Astatula elementary schools. "I think it is motivating and brings print materials to high interest in reading for the children," said Seminole Springs Curriculum Resource Teacher Audrey Jackson. "And, who knows? Maybe after seeing their name in print, one of these children may become an author themselves," she added.

The books were personalized with the students' name, principal's name, teacher's name, and two friends' names featured in a story. The program is designed to use the aspect of personalization, combined with the intrigue of rhyme, to appeal to a child's curiosity to make reading more enjoyable and inviting. "We really appreciate the dedication and generosity of the Telecom Pioneers partnering with the Educational Foundation to support this very worthwhile, and popular, reading program," said Educational Foundation executive director Rita Clements.

The Telecom Pioneers of America is the world's largest industry-related, not-for-profit organization. A true community effort, the Telecom Pioneers Lake County chapter partnered with AT&T and the foundation to match funds for books and produce the teddy bears. This is the second year the Hug-a-Bears, named Eddie the Educated Bear, accompanied the personalized books.

For more information, on Lake County Schools, visit